The Leadership Newspaper editorial demands the dismissal of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr for non-performance.
After failing to beat Sierra Leone over two legs last week, it is obvious Super Eagles coach, Gernet Rohr, has given his best that is not good enough. He has turned full cycle and lacks any new ideas that can possibly move the team forward. It is a matter for regrets that since his appointment as Eagles coach in 2016, Rohr has not improved the team in any way.
He led Nigeria to a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which is not an achievement as finishing third place at the tournament was a failure .The Super Eagles third place finish at the tournament was their eighth in that position in the Nations’ Cup history which is a record . Nigerian fans deserve better.
We are concerned that the Super Eagles will finish the year 2020 without a win. In four games this year, they lost one and drew three. They began the year with back-to-back friendly matches against Tunisia and Algeria. They lost by a lone goal to Algeria while they were held to a 1-1 draw by Tunisia. Nigeria’s next match will be against the Benin Republic in a 2021 AFCON qualifier in March next year.
With this disappointing record, sports pundits are beginning to wonder how Rohr, who has never achieved success at the coaching level, was able to land, arguably, the number one coaching job in Africa.
It is also on record that his coaching career has not been sufficiently stellar to have attracted the attention of Nigeria’s sports administrators. Available information indicate that in 1996, he managed Girondins de Bordeaux to the UEFA Cup final, where they lost to Bayern Munich over two legs, 0–2 away and 1–3 at home. Bordeaux’s run to the final included a famous 3–0 win over AC Milan in the quarter-finals. From October 1998 until April 1999 he was sports director of Eintracht Frankfurt.
“Rohr was fired by Étoile Sportive du Sahel following a third-place finish in the league, outside of the 2010 CAF Champions League places, on 15 May 2009. On 9 June 2009, he was named as the new head coach of the Ligue 2 team FC Nantes, his contract running until 30 June 2011.
On 3 December 2009, he was fired by FC Nantes and replaced by Jean-Marc Furlan. On 21 February 2010, Rohr replaced French coach Alain Giresse at the helm of the Gabon national football team. He became manager of Niger national football team in September 2012.He resigned in October 2014.
On 22 December 2015, he was sacked by Burkina Faso national football team as manager. He was shortlisted for the Guinea national team job in July 2016 but was not given the job. From the foregoing, one can decipher that in 106 games as a coach, he has won 43, drew 29, lost 34 games with a winning ratio of 40 percent. This is poor and not acceptable.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, the only reason Rohr is still the coach of the Super Eagles is because he is white. If he was black he would have been sacked long ago. The Super Eagles job is the top coaching job in Africa and we see no reason why we are not being coached by the very best. Another reason, we dare to say, could be corruption. We are familiar with deals in the past between lowly- rated foreign coaches and football administrators for pecuniary gains.
In a period of COVID -19 pandemic, dire economic and security situations, football should not be added to that ignoble list. Over the years, football has become one sport that brings Nigerians together irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political affiliations. It should remain so.
Consequently, we call on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to, as a matter of urgency, sack Rohr immediately as it is obvious that he can’t take the team beyond his level. If Nigeria must continue with a foreign coach, NFF should scout for someone who has the technical acumen needed to build the Super Eagles to the star team it ought to be. At the risk of being accused of rooting for Hervé Renard, this man has won the African Nations Cup with two different countries in 2012 and 2015 with Zambia and Ivory Coast respectively.
Alternatively, we suggest that NFF should groom one of the ex- internationals to take over the team. And there a long list of them: Joseph Yobo, Austin Okocha, Emmanuel Amuneke and Nwankwo Kanu. We should hire one of the nation’s ex- internationals immediately.
The Rohr experiment has failed woefully. If NFF loves Nigerian football, especially the national team, as much as we believe it does, then that football body must do away with Rohr. It is a patriotic duty for which football lovers will be grateful.